Monday, November 20, 2017

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 1 (1983-1985)

Hey there everyone.  Welcome to Enuffa.com, your home for pro wrestling, movies, music, and other life-altering forms of pop culture.  I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Hey Justin, it's been a while since you posted the complete history of a beloved wrestling supercard.  Can ya help us out?"  You my friends are in luck, because without further ado, I'd like to present.....

The Enuffa.com Complete History of WCW Starrcade!!!




That's right, it's time to hop into the ol' DeLorean and travel back to 1983, when Jim Crockett Promotions envisioned a wrestling event so magnanimous it couldn't be just for the live crowd in attendance.  It had to be broadcast on closed-circuit television throughout the South!  Big wrestling events on Thanksgiving night had long been a tradition in the region, and Crockett correctly surmised that a supercard held on that date would draw big business.  Starrcade '83 is the real Granddaddy of Them All - the first wrestling event broadcast on closed-circuit, and the prototype for the modern PPV event.  The show was a tremendous success, famously causing massive traffic jams in downtown Greensboro, and JCP made Starrcade an annual tradition.  Quickly it became the promotion's flagship event, and by 1987 it was also carried on pay-per-view.  When Ted Turner bought out Jim Crockett in 1988 he kept the Starrcade brand but moved it to December to avoid having to compete with the WWF's Survivor Series, and that's where it stayed until WCW folded in 2001.

So let's look at the highs, lows and everything in between, of Starrcade!



Starrcade '83 - Greensboro Coliseum - 11.24.83

The inaugural Starrcade was by today's standards a very barebones production which featured quite a few obscure names from the early part of the decade.  It was a very uneven show with a pretty forgettable first half.  But it's the final three matches that make Starrcade '83, and they're all first-rate classics of the era. 

The NWA event lineups back then were different from the WWF approach, in that they stuck all the undercard bouts early on the card and saved the important ones for the second half - quite often the last four matches would all be for championships.  By contrast Vince would spread the big matches around to give each show peaks and valleys, often inserting "buffer matches" between some of the headliners.  There are pros and cons to both philosopies of course.

After three matches that could be considered throwaways (The Assassins vs. Rufus Jones & Bugsy McGraw; Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin vs. Scott McGhee & Johnny Weaver; and a brief Abdullah the Butcher-Carlos Colon showdown), the show began for real with a solid tag match: Bob Orton (Randy's dad) teamed with Dick Slater against Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel.  This was no five-star classic, but it was easily the best match thus far.

Next was a TV Title vs. Mask match between The Great Kabuki and Charlie Brown (actually the "suspended" Jimmy Valiant under a mask).  I've never been much of a Valiant fan, so for me there wasn't much to this, but it does stand as the first-ever championship match on a Starrcade show.
From here on out the show was pure gold.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 10 (2014-2016)

We've reached the finale of our historical journey....




Survivor Series 2014 - Scottrade Center - 11/23/14

Oddly the main event of the 2014 edition was like a do-over from 2013.  The Authority picked five guys to represent them, against a five-man insurrection led by the company's top babyface.  And if the good guys won, The Authority would be out of power, with only the babyface leader able to reinstate them.  On paper that's a pretty high-stakes elimination match.  Unfortunately the execution leading up to this show was so bad and lacked all urgency, and this type of angle has been done so many times no one really cared.  A year prior, with the Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority feud in high gear, this would've been epic.  In 2014 though, with longtime WWE posterboy John Cena cast as "The guy Triple H and Steph don't want representing the company because........just because," it doesn't quite work.  But before we get to this match, let's look at the rest of the show.

First up was a four-way match for the Tag Team Title, as Goldust & Stardust defended against Team Mizdow, The Usos, and Los Matadores.  Taken in and of itself this match was perfectly decent.  It was given over fifteen minutes and everyone involved could work.  The problem was these four teams had faced each other in various combinations ad nauseum over the preceding weeks, so nothing about this felt special.  It was just eight guys executing a match.  Also this being Survivor Series, Elimination Rules would've made more sense.  Mizdow won the belts prematurely to further the eventual split between Miz and Sandow, which as we all know led to nothing.

They won the belts too soon and split up too soon.
Next up was a four-on-four Divas elimination match: Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi and Natalya vs. Paige, Cameron, Layla, and Summer Rae.  There was little point to this match but I'll be goddamned if it wasn't terribly entertaining.  It's a rare thing for a women's match of any kind to get nearly fifteen minutes on a PPV, and this was actually treated like a real Survivor Series bout.  Sadly it was a clean sweep which I hate in general (these should be saved for very rare occasions and made into a huge deal), but I liked the match quite a bit all things considered.

The first big match of the night was next, as Dean Ambrose faced Bray Wyatt in a battle of the crazy dudes.  This was pretty underwhelming actually, and ended with a lame DQ.  They'd have a much better match with an even dumber ending at TLC.

Next up was Adam Rose and The Bunny vs. Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil.  What in the hell was the point of this?  Between the match itself and the entrances this took up probably 7 minutes of valuable air time that could've been given to one of the matches people actually gave a shit about.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Top Ten Things: WWE Survivor Series Teams

What up, m'nerds!  Welcome to another Top Ten Things here at Enuffa.com!

With the 31st annual Survivor Series around the corner (Hard to believe it's been three decades!) I thought I'd take a look back at my ten favorite Survivor Series squads over the years.  As many of you may know I'm a huge fan of the Survivor Series concept - always have been - especially when we get to see two superteams duke it out on the big PPV stage.  Often an elimination match is only built around one feud: the captain of one team vs. the captain of the other.  In cases like that you'll often see teams like The Undertaker's 1995 bench, comprised of low-carders Henry Godwin, Savio Vega and "Make a Difference" Fatu.  Hardly an all-star cast, and since they swept that match Taker didn't even really need them.  But when a match consists of multiple A-listers trying to resolve multiple angles and rivalries, magic happens.  Let's take a look at the list.

***Note: I'm presenting this in chronological order, as ranking these ten teams would be difficult, and I don't like things that are difficult.***



1. Team Randy Savage (1987): Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake & Jim Duggan


The first-ever Survivor Series match pitted Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man and four of his pals against two former Champs and a few other guys who'd had issues with HTM.  Savage's team boasted easily the strongest lineup of the inaugural PPV.  Beefcake, Roberts and Duggan were all super over, but the most mind-blowing inclusion was Savage's former archnemesis Ricky Steamboat, with whom he'd feuded on and off for two years.  The sight of these two working together after Savage's babyface turn was incredible.  Ultimately this team made fairly easy work of HTM's lineup, only suffering one pinfall loss (Beefcake) and losing Duggan to a double countout before gaining a 3-on-1 advantage on Honky Tonk, who took a powder at the end.  This stacked team kicked off the grand Survivor Series tradition with a bang.




2. Team Powers of Pain (1988): Powers of Pain, Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs, Rockers & Young Stallions


This particular concept yielded the Match of the Night at the first two Survivor Series PPVs and I can't believe no effort was made before 2016 to bring it back.  The 1987 20-man match was excellent and highlighted the WWF's robust tag team division.  The 1988 incarnation did it one better, delivering my favorite WWF match of 1988.  The Powers' team included three of the most talented duos in wrestling history - The Harts, The Bulldogs and The Rockers - and looking back now it's stunning to think about how much talent resided in that corner of the ring.  The match eventually boiled down to The Powers vs. Demolition and The Conquistadors, when Demolition's manager Mr. Fuji turned on them before being adopted by the now-heel Powers of Pain.  Probably still my all-time favorite elimination match.




3. Hulkamaniacs (1989): Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts & Demolition


The match may have been a staggering disappointment full of lazy disqualifications and no surprises, but there's no denying what a strong team this was.  WWF Champ Hogan, Tag Champs Demolition, and perennial favorite Jake Roberts assembled for the 1989 main event (slated third on the card for some reason) to take on Ted Dibase, Zeus and The Powers of Pain.  Had the booking been stronger and the heel team not been comprised of stale characters, this could've been a classic battle.



NXT TakeOver: WarGames Preview & Predictions

Oh man.......oh mama......it finally happened.......WWE is resurrecting WARGAMES!!!!


Nevermind that the new version of the rules doesn't make much sense and is yet another entry in the WWE Fixed Something That Wasn't Broke category, this is gonna be a lotta fun.  I've been a fan of WarGames since I first bought the NWA Great American Bash '87 tape back in the day.  The visual of two rings surrounded by a steel cage with ten guys bloodying each other senseless for 25 minutes was the stuff of legend.  I'm not sure how NXT will handle the blood situation; maybe there will be a few "accidental on purpose" hardways.  Regardless, I'm looking forward to this main event.  But as always, NXT has a host of other intriguing matchups this Saturday, so let's take a look...


First off, there's a dark match between UK Champ Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano, and I'm baffled this isn't on the special.  That would probably steal the goddamn show.  Christ.



Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan


I know next to nothing about Sullivan, so it's hard to give much of an educated opinion on this one, but Ohno will work hard to make him look good I'm sure.  Since Sullivan is 303 pounds you know WWE officials are salivating at the idea of a new monster character.  I'm guessing Ohno's only here to give him a good win.

Justin: Lars
Landon: Sullivan





Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream


Former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark will be the latest to get bludgeoned by Black, on his rise to the NXT main event scene.  Not much more to say about this; it's obviously another Black showcase match.

Justin: Aleister Black
Landon: Black is probably being groomed to take the title from Adam Cole, or he'll be ready very soon.





NXT Women's Championship: Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce


I'm looking forward to this.  Asuka's departure left a vacant NXT Women's Title, and this is the match to fill that vacancy.  As I see it, this is really a two-horse race.  Royce has no chance of winning, nor should she, Nikki is the spoiler candidate here but won't end up taking it.  It's realistically between Ember Moon, who was Asuka's heir apparent, and Kairi Sane, who, like Asuka, is a very accomplished Japanese import.  I think it's too soon for Sane to win the belt, and it would look too much like they were just plugging her into Asuka's spot.  Ember Moon should finally capture the title and get a decent run before Sane eventually dethrones her.

Justin: Ember
Landon: Ember


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Batman v Superman

Welcome to Enuffa.com!  It's been a while, but the time has come to resurrect the old favorite, Awesomely Shitty Movies!  Some of you know the drill, but for those who don't, ASM is where I examine the good and bad elements of some piece of cinematic tripe.  

And today's entry certainly falls into that category.  That's right, it's Zack Snyder's divisive creation, the long-awaited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!


This 151-minute superhero mashup marks the first time in history that Metropolis's messiah and Gotham's masked vigilante share the big screen, and I can assure you it ain't to swap gazpacho recipes.  Nope, it's to pummel the ever-lovin' shit out of each other (and also to set up the Avengers-esque Justice League movie in 2017....mostly it's for that reason actually).

Henry Cavill is back as Kal-El, the brooding, reluctant alien hero from Man of Steel who sorta looks like Superman but doesn't share any of his character traits.  In Batman's cape and cowl this time is Ben Affleck, who might just have the greatest superhero jaw in the history of the world, and who is also ENORMOUS in this film.  Huge.  Like, did anyone check who's supplying his "vitamins?"  Plus we have Israeli model Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor(??).  So let's get to it - what worked and what didn't?



The Awesome (For the purposes of this column I use that term loosely)


Visuals

As with most of Zack Snyder's work, the visuals here are super slick, very stylized, and moody.  Just like Man of Steel, the color palette in BvS is very muted and there are a lot of CG enhancements, but the costumes look badass and there's plenty of eye-candy.

Lotta cool-looking stuff in this movie


Batfleck

For all the complaining when he was cast, Ben Affleck makes a pretty good Batman.  It helps that his costume is based on Frank Miller's wonderful version of the suit, giving Affleck a fearsome, bulky appearance.  His Bruce Wayne is older, more grizzled, more cynical, and more ruthless.  Affleck plays possibly the most tortured screen version of the character to date, who's given up trying to be a normal dude, even letting Wayne Manor fall into decay and settling for the modernized guest house nearby (This was a nice touch I thought, and served as interesting symbolism for the character).  Also his electronically-enhanced "Bat-voice" is way cool-sounding and I think they've finally found the right way to execute that.  All that said though, I still never fully felt I was watching Batman.  I was always at least slightly aware it was Ben Affleck in a Batsuit.  But overall no real complaints about Batfleck.

Possibly the best-looking cinematic Bat-suit



Some Superman Scenes

Cavill as Superman is still monosyllabic and therefore almost impossible to identify with.  Aside from his look (which is perfect), Cavill has still not proved to me that he's the correct choice for Kal-El, nor does he even bother playing Clark Kent as a different character.  To all those people who say Lois should know Clark and Supes are the same person because it's unrealistic for her not to figure it out, I say this: If Superman doesn't act any differently as Clark Kent, isn't it more unrealistic for everyone else (including the World's Greatest Detective Batman) not to put it together?

However unlike Man of Steel, BvS at least provides Clark a few scenes where we feel a little something for him, such as the one after he fails to stop a bombing and expresses to Lois that maybe he wasn't meant to be a hero.  This idea doesn't really get explored further, but the scene itself was well done.



Frank Miller Influence

This movie is FULL of visual references to Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.  I already mentioned the Batsuit lifted right out of Miller's artwork, plus the armored Batsuit (which looks INCREDIBLE in movie form), much of the Bats vs. Supes fight itself, and some unrelated moments I'll get to in a bit.  It was cool to see Miller's iconic version of Batman brought to life.

I knew this looked familiar....

WWE Survivor Series 2017 Preview & Predictions


Wow.  What a bizarre build to this year's Survivor Series.  The card has changed roughly 78 times since the matches were first announced four weeks ago, and amazingly the show went from a surefire stinker to one of the best on-paper lineups of the year.  That doesn't mean of course that WWE won't fuck this up, they've demonstrated on many occasions their uncanny ability to botch something as simple as bagged salad mix.  But my optimism for this show being good has probably tripled in the last two weeks.  I went from full-on dreading it to actually having hope that this will be on par with last year's surprisingly excellent Survivor Series.  While I do think the champion vs. champion gimmick is dumb overall, three of the four matches are now very promising.  And while the RAW vs. Smackdown nonsense is forced and drivelous, the two elimination matches have the potential to be great.

So let's take a look at the matchups and see what makes sense.

***I'm leading still, with 62/88 (70%), Landon's in second with 51/76 (67%), Dave's in third with 36/54 (66.666666%), and Dan's in the rear (heh....rear...) with 54/88 (61%).***



Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto


Thank Christ this got bumped to the pre-show.  What a pointless match, feud, and title.  This division is deader than dead.  If anyone's tuning in specifically for the 205 Live stuff, I feel sorry for you.

Justin: Enzo retains.  Who gives a shit?
Dan: I guess.  He stinks.
Landon: Enzo.  Fuck this company.
Dave: My god, I don't care.  Enzo I guess.





Champion vs. Champion: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin


This is the one main card match I'm really not at all interested in.  Who fuckin' cares about this?  Both guys are heels, only one is good at his job, and there's literally nothing at stake.  This match should get as little time as possible.  Corbin really should've dropped the belt to a rising babyface star prior to this (Not you Sin Cara!), so there'd be something to care about.

Justin: Miz gets a cheap win
Dan: COME ON MIZZY!
Landon: Miz.  Fuck this company.
Dave: Miz rules.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 World Tag League Preview


Well...This is certainly underwhelming. Usually there's some fun to be had out of the World Tag League, but this year the rosters seem really barren. Naito is vacationing in Mexico, Kenny is off in the Eliteverse, and I can only assume that Okada and Tanahashi are going into two of Lord Frieza's Medical Machines for the next month. So what we're left with is a handful of established tag teams, odd faction amalgamations, and a few last minute cobbled together teams that fill out a weak Tag Tournament. But, there's still some joy that can be found in all this. What's good, what's bad, and what'll work? That's what we're here for.



A Block

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)

Landon: I love Chase Owens and he deserves to do better than he will.

Justin: This here is the Bullet Club C-Team.  They won't be winning the tournament.



EVIL and SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Landon: I think that EVIL and SANADA are going all the way. They're at least sweeping this block. They have nothing better going for the next few months, so they could drop the 6-Man belts (sorry BUSHI) and be a proper native top heavyweight tag team.

Justin: Evil and Sanada have to be one of the two or three favorites to win the whole thing.  They aren't involved in a feud right now and they need something good to do for the Dome.  A tag title match would do nicely.



Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)

Justin: And this is the Bullet Club D-Team.  Next?

Landon: You know at least they were a tag team before literally these announcements. I know they won't go far, but Yujiro and Hangman have both stepped up their efforts in their respective home companies. Maybe they'll show promise here.


Awesomely Shitty Movies: The Hateful Eight

Welcome to another edition of Awesomely Shitty Movies, here at Enuffa.com, where I pick apart the pros and cons of a given film.  Sometimes it's a movie I'm quite fond of in spite of its flaws, sometimes it's a movie I wish I could be more fond of in spite of its flaws.  Today's entry falls into the latter category.  It's Quentin Tarantino's latest opus, The Hateful Eight.


Quentin Tarantino is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers.  His uniquely demented filmography includes three Best Picture nominees, literally dozens of classic sequences, and some of the wittiest, most memorable dialogue ever put to film.  Drawing from his video store geek origins in the early 90s, Tarantino has built a body of work full of loving pastiches of gangster films, westerns, war movies, pulp novels, and even horror films, assembled with such enthusiasm and bravado one can't help but be swept up in their frenetic energy.

So what went wrong with H8?  This epic-length western concerns an eclectic group of bad guys and unscrupulous lawmen who get snowbound in a Wyoming lodge, and the film shows us in painstaking detail how this sociopolitical powderkeg might play out.  You've got a bounty hunter, a notorious outlaw, a black Civil War Major, a racist Civil War General, a British hangman, a newly elected Sheriff, a cowboy, and a Mexican dude.  Plus a stagecoach driver and a handful of other characters who make brief appearances.  The film plays out like an ultra-violent parlor drama, almost entirely taking place in one room, as the characters argue, scheme, bargain, and eventually start shooting at each other.  Like his 2007 film Death Proof, H8 is little more than an exercise in style, and while Tarantino films always have plenty of that (I found the first half of DP a delightfully entertaining play on cheaply cobbled together 1970s grindhouse fare), it left a lot to be desired in other areas.

So let's take a look at the virtues and drawbacks of The Hateful Eight....



The Awesome


Cast

As always, Tarantino's casting is first-rate; this film is largely populated with sure-footed veteran actors who suit their characters perfectly.  Kurt Russell is the down n' dirty bounty hunter John Ruth, who will stop at nothing to make sure his quarry, the brutal outlaw/killer Daisy Domergue (a gleefully degenerate Jennifer Jason Leigh, who earned an Oscar nod) hangs to death at Red Rock.  Samuel L Jackson is the resourceful former Civil War officer Marquis Warren, whose instincts are always on point and who's the closest the film has to a protagonist.  Walton Goggins is the slack-jawed, slightly dimwitted "good ol' boy" Chris Mannix, who's on his way to Red Rock to begin his term as Sheriff.  Bruce Dern is the bitter, tight-lipped old Confederate General Sanford Smithers.  And Tim Roth is the oddly foppish Red Rock hangman Oswaldo Mobray.  Whether Tarantino mainstays like Jackson and Roth, or newcomers like Leigh, each member of the cast slips comfortably into their "hateful" roles.  No complaints about the performances.

No shortage of onscreen talent here.



Cinematography

Shot in glorious 70mm (an odd choice considering most of the film takes place in the one room), H8 is a beautiful-looking film, peppered with some breathtaking shots of the snow-covered Wyoming landscape (actually shot in Colorado).  Regular Tarantino collaborator Robert Richardson gives the film a classic widescreen look, and it's a shame there weren't more locations in the story to take advantage of the medium.

They shoulda filmed the whole movie outside.


Monday, November 13, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 9 (2011-2013)

These next three are quite a mixed bag....


Survivor Series 2011 - Madison Square Garden - 11/20/11

This show was loads of fun, up until the main event.  There's not a bad match on the card, but I found the Rock/Cena vs. Miz/Truth tag match utterly depressing.  But we'll get to that in a bit.

The PPV opened with a spectacular US Title match, as Dolph Ziggler defended against the departing John Morrison.  These two gelled superbly and JoMo left WWE with a bang.  This eleven-minute match featured 17 kinds of Awesome.  For those counting, that's roughly 1.5 kinds of Awesome per minute.

Second was a solid Divas Title match between Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres.  Nothing mindblowing, but both of these women could work, and they did.

The lone elimination match was next, as Wade Barrett led Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Hunico (the former Fake Sin Cara and now simply known as Sin Cara), and Mr. Double-Duty Dolph Ziggler against Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Mason Ryan (??), and Sin Cara (now simply known as Not Sin Cara).  As always someone had to be pinned very early; this time it was Ziggler, and shortly after that Sin Cara injured himself (man this guy turned out to be a bust) and had to forfeit his spot.  Once that stuff was over though, this turned into a pretty good elimination match.  Barrett was just beginning to look like a real star and along with Cody, outlasted Team Orton to take the duke.  Sadly Barrett was plagued by injuries the rest of his WWE run and his push was never fully realized.

The World Title match was up next as Mark Henry defended against The Big Show.  On paper this sounds like a snorefest, but it was actually pretty decent.  The action was stiff and included the old Tackle-Through-The-Barricade spot.  Henry hit Show with a nutshot to cheaply retain the belt, and Show made him pay for it by injuring his leg with a chair.  This would've been the perfect time for Mr. Money in the Bank Daniel Bryan (who wasn't booked on this show) to cash in and win the World Title in front of a rabid New York crowd, but the company chose to save that for the TLC PPV in December.  Whatever....

All you gotta do is tap, Del Rio.  Tap-tap-tappa-roo!

The true main event of the evening was second-to-last as WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio defended against WWE's newest folk hero CM Punk.  This was a fantastically-worked match, full of great action, drama, submission holds and reversals.  After 17 minutes Punk forced Del Rio to tap out to the Anaconda Vice and began his legendary 434-day reign as WWE Champion.  The MSG crowd ate up this match and its aftermath with a serving ladle.  Unfortunately its awesomeness would be upstaged by the billed main event.....

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 8 (2008-2010)

Moving on to the era when the 5-on-5 elimination matches started to get good again.....


Survivor Series 2008 - TD Garden - 11/23/08

The 2008 edition was uneven at best.  The good matches were worth watching and the bad matches are to be avoided like a three-week-old pastrami sandwich.  On the plus side there were three traditional elimination matches, and on the minus side there were three mediocre-or-worse singles bouts.

The show opened with a 5-on-5 match, as Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, The Great Khali, and Cryme Tyme (yet another one of those classy "ethnic" WWE gimmicks) faced JBL, Kane, MVP, John Morrison, and The Miz.  Once past the idiotic, overly-quick eliminations this settled into some okay, watchable Survivor Series fare.  Nothing big was at stake, but it was just a solid, old-school elimination match.  Shawn, Mysterio, and for some reason The Great Khali were the survivors (shortly after this the company finally figured out that Khali probably shouldn't be beating anyone given his physical condition).

A Divas elimination match was next, featuring RAW's Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, and Jillian Hall against Smackdown's Michelle McCool, Victoria, Maria, Maryse, and Natalya.  Once again we the audience were expected to believe that brand loyalty was more important to these wrestlers than moral alignment.  The match featured a series of rapid-fire eliminations spread over nine-and-a-half minutes.  Quite forgettable.  Beth Phoenix won the whole thing.

In slot 3 was the first singles match of the night, as The Undertaker and The Big Show plodded through a Casket Match.  I've never felt much chemistry between these two, and this was no different.  Tedious.  Very tedious.

The best 2008 elimination match was next, as Randy Orton led Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry against Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth.  This match came about because two months earlier at Unforgiven, Orton attacked and punted World Champion Punk backstage, resulting in Punk being taken out of his title defense that night, costing him the Championship by forfeit.  I'm not sure in what universe it's believable that a Champion can be sneak-attacked backstage minutes before his scheduled defense, and the company penalizes him by immediately stripping him of the belt, thus allowing his last-minute replacement (Chris Jericho) to capture said Title.  The whole point of this was to start a major feud between Orton and Punk, but only weeks later Batista returned to WWE TV and usurped Punk's spot in the feud.  Punk became a total afterthought and never got a return Title match, instead having to win another Money in the Bank briefcase to get near the strap again.  Anyway, the match was quite good, despite yet another first-minute elimination and Punk being taken out unceremoniously midway through.  Orton and Cody survived.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 7 (2005-2007)

Rather a mixed bag from '05-'07.....



Survivor Series 2005 - Joe Louis Arena - 11/27/05

This right here is a pretty damn good show.  Shockingly, for the second consecutive year the Survivor Series main event was a traditional elimination match.  While it was built around a completely phony "brand loyalty" premise, it was nice to see a melee between two superteams serve as the top-billed match at this event.

The card opened with a WCW retread - Chris Benoit vs. Booker T in a Best-of-Seven Series match for the US Title.  Their chemistry in 2005 was nowhere near on the level of their 1998 work, but this was still a fine way to open the show.  As with SummerSlam, Benoit went from headlining this PPV in 2004 to curtain-jerking in 2005.

Trish Stratus then took on Melina for the Women's Title in a pretty solid little match.  Trish was usually awesome, and Melina's absurd flexibility always made for some memorable spots.  Not bad.

Third up was a match I wasn't expecting to enjoy at all - Triple H vs. Ric Flair in a Last Man Standing match.  This feud started that October on the "USA Homecoming" episode of RAW, when Triple H turned on Flair for basically no reason.  Seriously, the feud was based on the thinnest of motivations.  Hunter said he realized Flair was no longer a legend and had to be stopped.  Really guys?  That's all you have?  Anyway, this match was definitely longer than it should've been, but still an exceptional, violent brawl with all kindsa flowing crimson.

"You must be stopped, ex-legend!"

The WWE Title match was next as first-time Champion John Cena defended against Kurt Angle.  This was sadly nowhere near their Unforgiven match two months prior, and due in part to special referee Shawn Daivari's biased officiating it devolved into a rather gimmicky affair.  The brief 13-minute running time didn't help either.

In the death spot was the one truly bad match of the night, as RAW GM Eric Bischoff faced Smackdown GM Teddy Long.  The whole RAW vs. Smackdown feud was so utterly forced and devoid of any genuine heat.  Did anyone in the audience truly believe any of these guys was loyal to their own brand, especially when they held Draft Lotteries almost every year to shuffle the roster around?  Idiotic.  Anyway, this was what you'd expect from two non-wrestlers.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Top Ten Things: Essential NJPW PPVs

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com, where I count down Ten Things that are at the Top of my list.  Pretty simple really.  Not sure why I have to explain it.


Today I present the ten (or more accurately, thirteen - narrowing this list down to ten is nigh impossible now) best NJPW PPVs I've seen thus far in my relatively young New Japan fandom (New JaFandom?).  I started watching NJPW in January 2015, when they launched NJPWWorld.com, a subscription streaming service not unlike The WWE Network (If you haven't subscribed you should do so - it's cheaper than WWE's version and you'll get access to forty-plus years of New Japan).  Basically from day one I was hooked, and I started poring through the archives to absorb as much New Japan awesomeness as I could find.  So here are thirteen essential NJPW PPVs you need to watch (and if you've already seen 'em, watch 'em again!).  Here we go:





13. WrestleKingdom IV


The WrestleKingdom series evolved from New Japan's 25-year tradition of holding a huge Tokyo Dome show every January 4th.  Regardless what weekday that falls on, the Tokyo Dome show is always on the fourth day of the year (weird, right?).  The name has changed several times, and starting in 2007 they turned the event into a PPV and called it WrestleKingdom.  In my opinion he first WK show to really deliver on all fronts was the fourth edition.  The undercard was a bit cluttered with tag matches (as was customary at the time), but once Intermission was over this show really took off.  Besides the couple of standout tags (Prince Devitt & Ryuske Taiguchi vs. Averno & Ultimo Guerrero; No Limit vs. Team 3-D vs. Bad Intentions), WK4 featured four good-to-great singles matches in a row to close out the PPV.  Tiger Mask IV vs. Naomichi Marufuji holds up as one of the best Jr. Heavyweight matches I've seen, which was then amazingly topped by a superb Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Go Shiozaki heavyweight match, which was followed by the surprisingly awesome Takashi Suguira vs. Hirooki Goto for the GHC Championship.  The main event, for the IWGP Heavyweight Title, saw Shinsuke Nakamura (pre-rock star persona) defend against the bruiser veteran Yoshihiro Takayama, in a slow but intense brawl.  This show started out slow but escalated to a fever pitch in the final 90 minutes, making it the best of the early WrestleKingdom events.

Key Matches: Takashi Suguira vs. Hirooki Goto; Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Go Shiozaki; Tiger Mask IV vs. Naomichi Marufuji





12. Power Struggle 2013


Often seen as something of a transitory PPV due to its place on the calendar so soon before WrestleKingdom, the annual November show Power Struggle generally features little in the way of important angles or title changes.  But that didn't stop NJPW from presenting a very strong edition in 2013.  Undercard standouts included the Young Bucks vs. Suzuki-Gun tag match and a short-but-intense Shibata-Honma slugfest, but once again the final four bouts were where business really picked up.  Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii stole the show with a 17-minute war, Tetsuya Naito settled his months-long feud with Masato Tanaka, Shinsuke Nakamura narrowly retained the I-C Title against Minoru Suzuki, and Kazuchika Okada defended the IWGP Title against Karl Anderson in a main event that far exceeded my expectations.  The last three Power Struggle shows have essentially just been a collection of good matches without major consequences, and the 2013 edition was the best of the series.

Key Matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Suzuki; Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii





11. WrestleKingdom 8


The 2014 edition of WrestleKingdom has the unfortunate distinction of being sandwiched between the two best all-time WKs, but that doesn't stop it from being a helluva good show in and of itself.  The show started out strong with two good Tag Title matches - The Young Bucks defended the Jr. Heavyweight straps against Time Splitters, Forever Hooligans and Suzuki-Gun in a blistering spotfest, while Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith jr. faced the new Bullet Club combination of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows for the Heavyweight belts.  The middle of the show featured several okay matches before the final third once again took things to the next level.  Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata delivered a brutal war, Kota Ibushi dethroned Prince Devitt for the Jr. Heavyweight Title in a great piece of storytelling, Okada and Naito had a marathon IWGP Title match, and in a first for WrestleKingdom the Intercontinental Title took the main event slot, as Nakamura faced Tanahashi in the clear Match of the Night.  While WK8 lacked a true MOTY candidate, it still stacks up as one of the best editions of NJPW's flagship event. 

Key Matches: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi; Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi; Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata





10. King of Pro-Wrestling 2012


Voted the Best Major Show of 2012 by the readers of Wrestling Observer, King of Pro-Wrestling was the first PPV to use that moniker, and was a streamlined, loaded lineup.  Both Jr. Heavyweight Titles were defended in top-flight matches - Forever Hooligans defended the tag belts against Time Splitters, and Low-Ki defeated Kota Ibushi for the singles championship in a 17-minute showstopper.  After a few good but largely inconsequential bouts, the show kicked into overdrive with a trio of excellent matches.  Okada defended his WK7 #1 Contender's slot against Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura and Hirooki Goto had a blazing I-C Title match, and in the main event Hiroshi Tanahashi faced Minoru Suzuki in an epic 29-minute match with loads of psychology and nary a pin attempt until the very end.  Incidentally this bout was named Match of the Year by the Observer.  KoPW was a tremendous PPV that outshined every other NJPW show in 2012, and amazingly it would be outdone by its 2013 sequel.

Key Matches: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto; Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Alien Resurrection

Welcome to another edition of Awesomely Shitty Movies, here at Enuffa.com!

Since I examined the gorgeously shot suckfest that was Alien 3 last week, I thought I'd move on to its sequel, 1997's Alien Resurrection.


As I mentioned last time, the third Alien film was a massive disappointment for me, as I'd been led to believe (through no fault of my own, mind you - d'ya need to see that teaser again?) that we'd get a true continuation of Aliens, wherein there'd be some sort of battle between xenomorphs and humans taking place on Earth.  Instead we got a languid, uninspired retread of the first movie, with one alien killing off humans in a confined location, Ten Little Indians-style.  Then Ripley dies.  I hated it.  I hated it all.  The franchise that should really have ended after two films got a completely unnecessary, tacked-on third installment just so Ripley could be killed off.

Fast-forward five years, and suddenly the series was resurrected (I see what they did there...), with a Ripley clone having been created 200 years after her death, on a military/scientific vessel that has begun experimenting with the aliens.  As part of the breeding process the scientists on board have illegally purchased cryo-frozen humans for use as hosts.  A mercenary ship arrives, delivering said hosts, but before long the aliens escape captivity and all hell breaks loose.  That's about all there is to the plot of this film, though I guess that's about twice as long as the premise of the third film.

My hope going into this was that it would really be something different and maybe even right the ship.  We'd finally see something in line with my expectations for Alien 3, or so I thought.  As it turned out Resurrection was just as poorly received as 3 (if not moreso), and the possibility of ever seeing another truly good Alien film again was all but gone.

Still, Resurrection did have some intriguing elements, some amusing horror-action, and plenty of gooey xenomorphs.  Let's take a closer look at this awesomely shitty movie....

(Note: I think if I were making a fourth film around this time I'd have simply revealed at the outset that Alien 3 was a dream, and have Ripley wake up from cryosleep to find Newt and Hicks still slumbering in their pods.  Then the story would adhere closer to the original Alien III script, where the xenos end up on Earth and the company actually intends on exploiting them for their Weapons division.  But that's just me.)




The Awesome


Something Different

After the dull, lazy retread that was Alien 3, it was nice to see the franchise go in a different direction with this film.  Ripley is back, but as a clone of the original character, and with a bit of xenomorph DNA which gives her some superhuman abilities.  It's corny, it's a bit comic booky, but hey, at least they tried something new with this film.  Setting it 200 years after Alien 3 also adds an element of the dystopian future, where the infrastructure is breaking down and mercenaries like the Betty crew have become commonplace.




Sigourno-morph

Sigourney Weaver clearly has a lot of fun with this new incarnation of Ripley, getting a chance to show off her newfound skills but also to convey the conflict arising from her longtime arch-nemesis now being a part of her.  This creature that has ruined her life is now ingrained in her biology.  A smarter, more thoughtful script would've done a lot more with this, but it's a start.  That theme comes into play later in the film when the alien queen seems to treat her almost as a loved one and the alien/human hybrid regards her as its mother.  Joss Whedon's script introduces some novel concepts for this franchise, and it's refreshing to see that at least. 

Oh, Ripley 8 will fuck you ups....



The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 6 (2002-2004)

This installment, if anything, proves that I should likely see a therapist about my wrestling-related issues.  But I'm not wrong.  Read with caution.....



Survivor Series 2002 - Madison Square Garden - 11/17/02

Sweet mother of God this show pissed me off.  Really, on so many levels this show made me want to smash lots of things with a steel girder.  Besides the obvious surface-level stupidity of this not at all being a proper Survivor Series lineup (Not one traditional SS match?  Really?), the booking was so incredibly nonsensical it actually hurt my face.  Some of the matches were fine, but the backstage political games that plagued WWE at the time undermined almost everything good that happened.  So strap on your hip boots, cuz we's about to wade through some shit.

The opening match was a six-man elimination Tables Match. Ooooh, so close to being an actual Survivor Series match, but nope.  During the brand split in early 2002, the company decided to split up not one, but two of their top tag teams, The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz, essentially gutting the entire division.  Oh, and they made the Tag belts exclusive to RAW so almost no teams even existed to fight over them.  Makes sense.  Anyway, this match saw Bubba Dudley, Spike Dudley and Jeff Hardy face Three Minute Warning and Rico.  It was fine for what it was, but I gave less than a poop.  There's one moment during the match where Jeff Hardy is brawling outside the ring and the participants have clearly been told to pick up the pace and get to the finish.  Rico gets up on the second rope and quite audibly yells, "Jeff! Get in here!"  Well done sir.

Second was a Cruiserweight Title match between Billy Kidman and Jamie Noble.  This was fine.  Seven minutes was enough for them to make an impression at least.

The Women's Title match was next as Trish Stratus defended against her crazed, smitten rival Victoria (another Trish feud played out in similar fashion a few years later with Mickie James).  Victoria was great as this psychotic character who seemed to harbor romantic feelings for Trish.  She also had Tatu's "All the Things She Said" as her entrance theme, which was fucking fantastic - probably the best entrance theme in the company at the time.  This match was pretty good and elevated Victoria as an excellent heel champ.

Okay, here's where things get stupid, folks.  The WWE Title match saw the company's newest main event star Brock Lesnar, fresh off cleanly defeating Rob Van Dam, The Rock and The Undertaker in PPV bouts (plus Hogan and Flair on free TV), defend against The Big Show, fresh off defeating almost no one on RAW for months.  Big Show had been floundering for the better part of two years and lost basically every feud he was involved in, only to be traded to Smackdown and immediately given a #1 Contender's spot.  Umm, what?  To make matters worse, the storyline was that Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman legitimately feared for Lesnar's well-being after Big Show attacked him, and was convinced Lesnar couldn't win the match.  Keep in mind Brock Lesnar was undefeated at this point while The Big Show just came off a horribly unsuccessful midcard run on RAW.  Got that?  So Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman didn't think the undefeated WWE Champion could beat his newest challenger who had just spent months losing most of his matches.  Did WWE think their viewers didn't watch both shows?  Also of note: Big Show's most recent PPV match prior to this was at May's Judgment Day, where he and Ric Flair lost a handicap match to Steve Austin.  Yeah there's a credible challenger.

Why is Big Bully Busick beating up Brock Lesnar?

Anyway, the match was a four-minute brawl where the big story was that Lesnar's ribs were injured (to be fair Lesnar was legit injured so he couldn't work a full match).  Lesnar dominated much the match, lifted Big Show up for an F5 (incredible), and went for the pin, only for Heyman to turn on Lesnar and help The Big Show win the Title.  So let me make sure I'm clear on this.  We're supposed to believe that Paul Heyman was so convinced his guy couldn't beat this perennial midcarder that he "opportunistically" turned on Lesnar, despite Lesnar never having lost a match, and despite Lesnar having THIS match won.  Sorry, did anyone at WWE Creative bother to proofread this garbage before they greenlit it?  This is some of the worst storytelling I've ever been privy to.  None of this made sense, and it wasted the potentially HUGE moment of Brock Lesnar's first pinfall loss by giving it to someone who wouldn't benefit from it (oddly similar to WCW booking Kevin Nash to beat Goldberg).  Oh, and the match wasn't good.

The one really great match on this show was the WWE Tag Team Title match (the company realized that RAW had basically no tag teams left to challenge the champions Chuck & Billy, so rather than the logical option of having the champs wrestle on both shows they created a Smackdown-only set of Tag belts) - a Triple Threat Elimination bout between Champions Rey Mysterio & Edge, Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit, and Los Guerreros.  This three-way feud for the straps resulted in some spectacular television in the fall of 2002, or as it's known by most, The Smackdown Six Era.  The only problem was that the belts changed hands every couple weeks.  Angle and Benoit were the first champions, but two weeks later they lost the belts to Edge & Mysterio, who lost them here to Eddie & Chavo.  But this was a helluva good match (with a slightly anticlimactic third act after Angle & Benoit were ousted), and really the only bright spot on the show.

Yes, I mean that wholeheartedly.  The Tag Title match was far and away the best thing on this card, including the inaugural Elimination Chamber.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ESPN 30 For 30 Documentary Review: Ric Flair Nature Boy

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Last night, ESPN premiered their newest sports documentary about the stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun Ric Flair.


This man is not only a wrestling legend but he has transcended that stardom in the squared circle to become one of life's superstars. Everyone knows who Ric Flair is. Everyone knows what his bedazzled robes look like. And of course we all know his signature catchphrase--'WOOOOOO!'

But what about the man? This documentary gets in to the man...kind of. It's definitely more about the playboy persona of RIC FLAIR WORLD CHAMPION but it does give some insight into Richard Fliehr, the adpoted son of strict, tie wearing parents. It delves into how young Richard loved wrestling but his father wanted nothing to do with it...and that's it. It's barely five minutes of talking about Ric's childhood and lack of interest from his parents. There's clearly more to the story there as you can see it affected Ric greatly but the director chose to move on from that pretty quickly I thought.

We then move onto his wrestling career and man oh man did this guy do some hard living. There's a scene (some scenes were animated when Flair was telling stories, as this one was) where he describes his daily intake of booze. 10 beers and 5 mixed drinks everyday he worked. Well, he's a wrassler, and he worked everyday so he drank that amount EVERYDAY.


Well, hello new phone background. 

WWE Smackdown: AJ Hinders Jinder

Well.  That's certainly an improvement.


Last night on Smackdown, AJ Styles unseated WWE's worst Champion of all time (Yup, I'm goin' there), Jinder Mahal to not only capture the belt but take Jinder's spot in the Survivor Series main event against Brock Lesnar.  And thus we now potentially have a main event worth watching, provided Vince doesn't just book Lesnar to squash AJ.  What SHOULD happen at Survivor Series is Brock has a bitch of a time catching the lightning-quick Styles and is kept off balance for much of an 18-minute match, finally getting his XXXXL-gloved hands on AJ toward the end and lowering the boom.  I have zero problem with Brock beating AJ, but it's gotta look good and be a competitive match.  For the first time in a WWE ring we have two former IWGP Heavyweight Champions squaring off.  That in and of itself is quite something.  The match could be fantastic if they do it right.  Please do it right, Vince.  Throw us a frickin' bone here.....

There was another title change this week, as Cesaro & Sheamus regained the RAW tag belts from Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.  I'm not crazy about this change unless it's to create a Shield match (more on that in a sec), as we now have yet another heel champion vs. heel champion match.  For 24 hours every title in the company was held by a heel.  Normally I'm fine with that scenario, but not if you're doing champion vs. champion matches in two weeks.  I really would've liked to see Owens & Zayn beat The Usos for the Smackdown belts and face Ambrose & Rollins, but that one's not in the cards. 

Instead what seems imminent to be added to the lineup is The Shield vs. The New Day.  At least that's what's being teased.  Should be a good match, but why not just add The Bar and The Usos (or better, KO & Sami) and make it another 5-on-5 elimination match?  There's no belts on the line anyway, so who cares?  I'd rather see a third Survivor Series match on the Survivor Series PPV.  Call me crazy, call me a pervert.  Anyway....

Next week's Smackdown will have two title matches that could further change the card.  This build has been the weirdest since the Russo era.  Baron Corbin is defending against Sin Cara - why are they pushing him again all of a sudden?? - but I won't be sad if Cara wins because a) it's makes a heel vs. face match at Survivor Series, and b) Miz vs. Sin Cara will be a helluva lot more fun than Miz vs. Corbin.  And Nattie is defending against Charlotte.  While I'd be sad to see Nattie's reign cut so short, Alexa vs. Charlotte is also a heel vs. face matchup and will probably get the crowd more engaged than Alexa vs. Nattie.  So both changes could be positives, and I assume Nattie would take Charlotte's place in the women's elimination match. 

If the Shield-New Day match gets added, Survivor Series will have an 8-match lineup.  Please tell me the Enzo-Kalisto match gets bumped to the pre-show then?  No one gives a shit about that one, and even for a four-hour show, eight matches is a lot when two of them are 5-on-5.  I'm guessing Owens and Zayn get involved in the men's elimination match and screw over Shane's team.  I'm also guessing Jinder gets added as the fifth man for Smackdown (Ugh)? 

Still so much up in the air for this show, considering it's in eleven days.  But at least we have a strong main event now.  More importantly, Jinder Mahal's Reign of Suck is finally over.  Let's keep it that way.



Thanks for reading!  Join us on Facebook HERE.




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Movie Review: Jigsaw (2017)

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal



All right, I've said A LOT about these movies in the last month. I had to re-watch 'em all just so I'd be good and prepared for the newest chapter, Jigsaw. So how does it compare to the rest of these flicks?

Eh. It's ok. It's a ton of the same shit that came before. And a lot more convulted-ed-ness (that's a word). John "Jigsaw" Kramer is dead...OR IS HE?!?!? A new group of shmucks are stuck in a new shithole trapped in a situation eerily similar to Jiggy's M.O. Is it him? Come back from the dead?!?!?

We're introduced to a buncha new characters. There's hard-boiled detective Halloran, his partner detective Hunt, medical examiners Logan and ginger Eleanor. And then the whole slew of folk trapped inside of Jigsaw's newest game. I'd tell you their names, but they're completely forgettable.

Our suspects, ladies & gentlemen. 


Without getting too spoilery, these people hafta atone for their past sins by having pieces of their body flayed off. It's fun! While they're all trapped up bleeding everywhere, the cops and the medical folk obviously start suspecting each other as being the new Saw dude because they're the only ones in the movie that could. So a buncha people get hacked up, no one learns a lesson and there's a twist ending with SOMEONE being a murderer type.

Did I like this one? I mean, I like them all, but this one kinda stunk. The problem with this particular episode is it's kinda obvious who's pulling the strings. At least in the other flicks I was sorta guessing what the plot twist was gonna be. When it happens here, it only confirmed my suspicions. There's a point in the movie where they make it quite obvious that the person doing the Saw'ing is the only possible one that could've manipulated everything into place. So without the surprise element, this one's lacking a fundamental Saw piece.

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 5 (1999-2001)

We've reached a pretty dark time in the history of this great event.  Beware!




Survivor Series 1999 - Joe Louis Arena - 11/14/99

I hated this show.  HATED it.  Survivor Series 1999 is very high on my all-time worst PPVs list.  It's just pure tripe almost from start to finish, and full of half-assed short-attention-span bouts.  Plus the much anticipated triple threat between the WWF's top three stars ended up not happening as planned due to one of them being unable to compete prior to the show, thus necessitating an incredibly stupid injury angle.

Shane and Steph are very concerned.  Imagine how Vince must've felt.

There were four traditional elimination matches, only one of which passed the ten-minute mark:
The Godfather, D-Lo Brown and The Headbangers faced The Dudley Boyz and the Acolytes.  Godfather and D-Lo won in a quick and forgettable nine-minute bout.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 4 (1996-1998)

Moving into the late 90s and the inception of WWF Attitude!



Survivor Series 1996 - Madison Square Garden - 11/17/96

Survivor Series '96 might be the best-ever PPV thrown together with seemingly no logic or common sense.  There are some good matches on this show, but really look at it - the lineup is a complete fucking mess.  Aside from one singles match there wasn't much of a reason for anything that happened here.  Four new wrestlers made their in-ring debuts on this show (FOUR!  That's way too many debuts all at once.), only one of the three elimination matches was assembled around a feud, one of the three singles matches was totally unnecessary at this point, and the WWF Title challenger had no business getting a title shot.  I really don't know what they were thinking putting this show together the way they did.

The opening match was entirely built around nothing.  Yet another two-teams vs. two-teams elimination bout, Tag Champions Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith teamed with The New Rockers against The Godwinns and WWF newcomers Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon.  Furnas & Lafon were a celebrated team in Japan but American audiences were not familiar with them at all, and they made no RAW appearances before debuting at this show.  Yet immediately they were positioned as the #1 Tag Title contenders.  Aside from this match having a lot of good wrestling, there was no reason to care about any of it.

Match #2 was the fourth PPV meeting between The Undertaker and Mankind.  Now, let me preface this by saying the Taker-Mankind feud from 1996-1998 was and is one of the greatest feuds of all time.  But they had already wrestled each other on PPV in a regular singles match, a Boiler Room Brawl, and the first-ever Buried Alive match.  So to follow this up the company opted for.....another regular singles match??  This made no sense.  If the level of violence wasn't going to escalate, have Taker and Mankind each captain a Survivor Series team.  Ya know, since the show is called Survivor Series??  This match was fine, but totally anticlimactic after their three previous efforts, and was probably the weakest of this entire feud.

The one elimination match involving a real feud was next, as I-C Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley led Crush, Goldust and Jerry Lawler against Marc Mero, Jake Roberts, "The Stalker" Barry Windham (what a laughable gimmick), and another debuting star, Rocky Maivia (at least with Rocky the WWF showed a bunch of vignettes leading up to this).  This match was just ok, but I did like that both captains were eliminated before the end.  Rocky overcame the odds to win the whole thing, much to the delight of.....no one really.  This was long before Maivia showed us all what a true star he could be, and I'll confess that until his 1997 heel turn I didn't see any real potential in him.

NJPW Power Struggle Review: JERICHO!!!!

Wow, what a show, both in terms of match quality (three ****+ matches to close the PPV by my calculation) and perhaps more significantly in terms of setting up WrestleKingdom 12.  NJPW Power Struggle is likely to be remembered at least as much for its post-match angles as for its matches, with Tokyo Dome bouts set up for the Jr. Tag belts (RPG3K vs. Young Bucks is sure to be spectacular), the Jr. belt (if you're doing a Fatal 4-way these are the four guys you want), the Intercontinental Title (the push seems a little sudden but I've been eagerly awaiting Jay White's return to the company), and one of the most earth-shattering announcements in New Japan history, Kenny Omega defending the US Title against Chris Jericho!


This is simply huge.  That an 18-year WWE veteran has jumped ship to New Japan indicates a potentially seismic shift in the industry the likes of which we haven't seen since WCW came knocking on Vince's door back in 1995.  For the first time since the Monday Night War, a very relevant WWE fixture has willingly decided to try his hand in a different company that currently has a major buzz around it.  For a wrestler at this stage of his career to yearn for a new challenge rather than taking the easy, reliable paycheck is remarkable, and it illustrates how much hotter the New Japan brand is right now than WWE (not to mention how committed Jericho is to reinventing himself).  NJPW is becoming the place where wrestlers go to improve their game.  WWE is where wrestlers go to make as much money as they can while they're still healthy.  What's also telling is the numerous New Japan/ROH talents who have declined WWE contracts like Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, and the recent WWE departures like Austin Aries and Neville who asked for their WWE release.  Wrestlers are increasingly discovering they can make a good living and actually be used based on their strengths outside of WWE, rather than floundering in a company that doesn't seem interested in creating legitimate box office draws.  It's a truly exciting development and I can't wait to see both the Jericho-Omega match, and Jericho's post-Dome New Japan run.  I assume it'll be a 3-6 month tenure and then he'll go back on tour with Fozzy.  We could easily see him return to WWE at some point as well, but the fact that he chose to go somewhere else after repeatedly vowing never to wrestle for any other company speaks volumes of how hot New Japan is right now.   

Alright, moving on to the actual PPV.  Power Struggle was, in my estimation, New Japan's third-best show of 2017 (after WK11 and Dominion of course).  The undercard was a solid, consistently entertaining series of matches, and from the Jr. Tag Finals on we were treated to a variety of good-to-excellent bouts, concluding with, as I mentioned, three stupendous outings.

The Young Bucks returned to New Japan in the opening match to make fairly quick work of Titan and Dragon Lee.  It was a brief seven-minute encounter but a nicely executed, fun opener that re-established the Bucks as the division's team to beat.  No complaints there.

Next up were a pair of multi-man tags to keep the crowd feelin' good.  Suzuki-Gun took a quick dive against Juice Robinson's squad when Kushida tapped out Taka Michinoku.  Not much to that match but it was inoffensive and quick.  Then TenCozy and Togi Makabe had an enjoyable little match against the Bullet Club C-team when Kojima pinned Chase Owens. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 3 (1993-1995)

After three pretty bad editions of the Thanksgiving Night/Eve Spectacular, things somewhat got back on track in the mid-90s.......


Survivor Series 1993 - Boston Garden - 11/24/93

Well that's more like it.  The '93 Series PPV was something of a return to form after the format had been watered down and then abandoned completely over the three previous years.  This show marks the first time a wrestling PPV had ever been held in Boston, so it has some sentimental value for me.  I was tempted to buy a ticket, but since it was Thanksgiving Eve and I'd have to travel home to the 'burbs anyway, I opted to watch on the tube.

This show not only put the focus back on the elimination matches, but for the first time since 1990 the main event was one of them.  The company made the most of a terribly depleted roster and put on a pretty damn good show, all things considered.  This would sadly be Bobby Heenan's final WWF PPV, as he would soon leave the company and wind up in WCW.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NJPW Power Struggle 2017 Preview & Predictions


Power Struggle is, barring the World Tag League, the final stop to the Tokyo Dome. After this, there are no more matches for the Big Four titles of New Japan, all the title matches for the Domewill be decided here, or soon after. The undercard is underwhelming, but the second half promises to be a rockin' outing. It's only a few days away, and Justin and I are running down just what's gonna happen in Osaka.




David Finlay vs. Katsuya Kitamura

Landon: This might end up being Kitamura's first win over a non-Young Lion in New Japan. There's obviously a tremendous upside to the rookie, but history tells that Finlay will pick up the win here.

Justin: Gotta stick with the non-rookie.  Should be a nice little match though.




Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson vs Dragon Lee and Titan

Landon: "We have nothing for the Young Bucks really, and we have the CMLL guys here still. So..." Young Bucks to win here, possibly to face SHO and YOH at the Tokyo Dome.

Justin: Bucks of Youth have to win here.  YB vs. RPG3K at the Dome.




Juice Robinson, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Kushida, and Hirai Kawato vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, and TAKA Michinoku)

Landon: Something for the Suzuki-Gun Junior Brigade to do, and something for the Seiki-Gun to do. Kawato probably eats the fall, maybe from El Desperado

Justin: Yes, SG wins, if for no other reason than to keep ZSJ strong heading into the Dome.




Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens)

Landon: This entire Undercard for this show is really weird. I guess the only thing that could come of this is Makabe pinning Chase. Whether that sets up for the NEVER Openweight title match against Suzuki I've been demanding for months, or even an ROH World Championship match, I don't know. I don't expect much.

Justin: Bullet Club so Cody looks strong.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fast & Furious Controversy: Tyrese Threatens To Quit

By B-Cuddy




[EDITOR'S NOTE I'll be honest, no one here at Enuffa gives a rat's ass about Tyrese or these movies. In fact, this is all just an excuse for B-Cuddy to bitch about these 8 (fucking EIGHT?!?!?) pieces of shit. Take it away, Cuddy.]

My wife loves these movies so I have had to sit through the last few of 'em. I still love her though cause I'm a helluva guy. Anyways, it's like the Olympics of bad acting. The stories are so over the top and nonsensical, that for any of those morons to think they're irreplaceable is laughable.


Here are the 5 worst performances from the two that I've watched.



5. The Rock


Seems like a nice guy but he has the emotional range of a can opener. Being on steroids has done his career wonders. I bet even Justin agrees with this. I'd ask him about it, but anytime the Rock gets brought up, you gotta wait a while until Justin cleans himself off.  (Editor's Note: Umm, that's Prof's gig).



4. Ludacris


How is he an actor? And how the fuck did he get cast as the nerdy tech guy?? It would be more believable if my aunt had this role, and she can barely turn the TV on. 


3. Tyrese


Sucks at singing, sucks at acting. He plays the "comic relief" and is always panicking for some reason or another. Which is odd because he continues to be part of a crew who's entire existence is based off high speed chases and explosions and I don't fucking know what else. Perhaps it is actually time for both he and his character to quit. Also, not a laugh to be had. But since he's taking his ball and going home, a spot has opened up. And if you want laughs, hire my man Pickles. He's an actor. (In theory). Just change it to an R-rated flick because there's gonna be a lot of colorful language. C-bombs like ya read about. 




2. Michelle Rodriguez




In one of these hunks of shit, this dame gets amnesia. FUCKING AMNESIA. Because when you get 8 deep into a movie franchise, you gotta break amnesia out at some point. I wish I had amnesia from watching her act. The only one who's worse is Vin himself (SPOILER ALERT!). Apparently Vin's character fancies himself a gal on his acting level, and someone who looks like him. No, seriously, they look similar. It's weird. 


1. Vin Diesel




First of all, what a preposterous asshole name. If a porn actor told a studio his name was Vin Diesel, they'd tell him to pick something less stupid. But i digress...

Maybe the worst actor I've ever seen. Its close between him and that kid who turned Darth Vader into a whiney bitch. From what I've gathered between these movies and his dodge commercial, his entire career is based of having a deep voice. And supposedly being bulky? Maybe that worked until the Rock showed up and cucked him into the next galaxy. AMIRITE, Jingles???!!!


I wish I was surprised these movies made money, but I mean, just look at the world we live in now. It's utter chaos. 



That's all for B-Cuddy.  Thanks for reading, and join our Facebook group HERE.